“If a preacher deliberately fails to prepare his/her sermon, such a preacher does not respect God and the hearers of the sermon” says Dr George Mnisi, Principal of the Union Bible Institute.
African Enterprise in partnership with IDAMASA (Inter Denominational African Ministers of South Africa), Umzimba fraternal, and a larger group of pastors in Pietermaritzburg held a training workshop on teaching for pastors at Project Gateway on Tuesday the 16 of August.
The need for such training in preaching the Word of God was realized after the uMgungundlovu for Jesus mission, held at the beginning of the year by IDAMASA , local churches and AE. . In preparation for the 2012 mission to Pietermaritzburg the training was then initiated.
About 28 pastors from churches in Imbali, Sweetwaters and Edendale attended the training. The AE Leadership Training Centre facilitated the meeting. Most of the pastors have undergone some theological training. However, often Bible colleges, schools and universities equip and empower pastors in theory but in many cases this is not implemented in practice.
At the training, practical guidelines on how to prepare a sermon and how to preach were given. Chris Thenjwayo, AE’s Director of Missions preached a sermon and was then critiqued by Mbulelo Hina, the Director of Development and Social Empowerment at AE.
“The teaching was helpful, informative and I’m looking forward to the next one” says Vusimuzi Thabethe, Chairperson of the uMgungundlovu for Jesus mission.
Dr George Mnisi, covered the topic The Preacher and His Preaching. Key points he covered were: what the preacher should bear in mind at all times; feeding your members through proper preaching; and steps in preparing an expository sermon.
Dr Mnisi stated that it is important for the preacher to have a continuous, clean and clear testimony. He also emphasised that a sermon only qualifies if it is based on a scriptural text, and that when a pastor chooses a text they should do so prayerfully.
He continued by saying that the preacher occupies a position of privilege in God’s Kingdom. The Bible reads “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.
He suggested the following tools to assist in study and preparation: a Bible study programme; good commentaries; expository Bible Dictionaries; and Hebrew/Greek Concordances.
“The general feeling was that the pastors wanted more such training and they proposed other topics which could be addressed at the next session”, said Sipho Sibisi, Training Manager for AE Leadership Training Centre.
As preparation for the 2012 mission to Pietermaritzburg is underway, such training sessions will both equip pastors and encourage unity amongst the churches represented.
Report compiled by Mpho Moloele